In Texas, at least 66 people sought medical attention Wednesday after part of a sprawling ExxonMobil refinery exploded and caught fire. The disaster in the city of Baytown, some 25 miles east of Houston, sent huge plumes of black smoke into the sky and prompted a shelter-in-place order for 5,000 people. This is longtime Baytown resident Agustin Loredo.
Agustin Loredo: “You have to close down your windows, close your doors, turn off your AC. If you can, seal the doors and windows with plastic and duct tape. And don’t leave until you’ve been notified that shelter in place has been lifted. And it’s really hard right now, especially in Texas, when it’s so hot.”
It’s the second disaster at an ExxonMobil plant in Baytown this year, after a refinery fire in March spewed toxic pollutants for more than eight days. Another fire that same month at a petrochemical plant in nearby Deer Park kicked up dangerous levels of toxic benzene.